Why Romance Writers Write
Why romance writers write might seem like a trite question with an obvious answer but I’m not so sure. The first thing that comes to my mind as a response to ‘why writers write’ is: they want to make money. Dig a little deeper and I believe you’ll find more.
The first layer I come to is that all storytellers have wondered what their place will be in the hearts of readers. Will their works be respected, revered, or reviled? That concern (and many others) spins in my head as I type away on my current work-in-progress. A little doubt can fuel us to work harder, but too much, and we become paralyzed. Many an aspiring author never makes it past their first work because of these crushing doubts and overwhelming paralysis. The courage to submit their book to publishers is sometimes never realized. I wonder how many great stories are held hostage in the memory of a laptop or under a bed in a box or on the shelf of a closet never to see another set of eyes beside their creator—the writer.
Deeper still I come to how much the publishing industry has changed and you have a brew that has overwhelmed many a writer. For more than five centuries the printing press ruled my predecessors, my current peers and me. The digital revolution tipped the market on its end. Like any revolution there are winners and losers. Bookstores are becoming fewer and fewer in the world, just like music stores became after the advent of the iPod by Apple. New York publishers’ grip has been loosened on the fiction and non-fiction book markets, though I believe is still present. Self-publishing and small press is a viable alternative to the traditional path for success for many authors. This uncertainty confuses many and makes us have to consider the business of publishing even more than before.
In all this noise the reason of why a writer writes seems distant and unknowable. Dig deeper. The truth is so close.
Sophie Oak gave a keynote speech at The Romance Convention in Dallas this year that moved me.
Here’s a portion of her speech, “…we understand the stigma of writing genre fiction. I can go down the list of all the ways we get marginalized. We write fiction. We write genre fiction. We write women’s fiction. We write romance.”
She went on to say, “There is someone out there who needs to hear your story. There is someone who feels alone, who believes no one understands them until they find a story they can sink into and discover a character who lives and breathes their existences. This is the true power of fiction, and every reader deserves a story that becomes comfort food.”
I highly recommend her speech for any writer from novice to seasoned professional. You can find the complete speech here.
Back to the question I began with. Why do romance writers write?
I can only speak for myself about why I write and especially why I write romance fiction. The stories of my characters, each seeming so real to me, must see the light of day. It’s my purpose. It’s my joy. It’s my passion. It’s the reason I breathe and move in the world. Someone, maybe several someones, might be moved by my stories, my characters, my voice. That’s the best I can hope for.
I’m one of the lucky ones who get to earn my living writing, but if the money dried up I would still write. I must.
Hey there and Happy Friday!
If I’m your first stop welcome or if I’m your next on the blog hunt I hope you’re having fun. There’s a fantastic prize up for grabs for the Blog Hunt, a Kindle Fire, and I’m offering up my BLUE JEANS AND HARD HATS series here on my blog.
My BLUE JEANS AND HARD HATS series features hard bodied handy-men and sassy women in need of some DIY help.
Another feature of the Blue Jeans books is BDSM. Something that’s been in the news a lot lately due to 50 Shades of Grey. While I’m not going to compare my books to 50 Shades, I am going to say that when I write about BDSM I write from experience.
I recently wrote a blog leading up to the BDSMapalooza the Smutketeers held expressing what BDSM is to me. If you’re interested you can check it out here. If you’re still playing with the Blog Hunt here’s a little snippet that sums up my thoughts.
BDSM has opened my eyes in a way nothing else I’ve ever encountered has. I am profoundly grateful I happened up on the lifestyle years ago. And yes, the sexual benefits are…incredible. But it’s not all or even mostly about sex. Not for me at least. There’s more, much more below the surface.
To be entered to win an eCopy of the entire BLUE JEANS AND HARD HATS series tell me what you think of BDSM or the hype around 50 Shades of Grey. Have you read it? Do you plan on it? I’ll pick a winner at random and post it here on my blog on Monday (May 28). The winner will have until Thursday (May 31) at Noon MST to contact my PA.
Here’s my question for Friday Fireworks: There is something about Jenn’s book that is unlike any other romance novel out there. What is it? (Check out the name of her website.)
10 Authors. 10 Questions. 10 Easy Answers.
You will go from blog to blog gathering questions about each author. There will be a hint and a link that will lead you to the answer.
In order to be entered to win the big prize, a Kindle Fire, you will need to send your answers to Brandy at firstname.lastname@example.org SUBJECT: Friday Fireworks by Monday at noon MST.
You must include all 10 questions with answers.
Winner of the big prize will be drawn and announced on Heather Long’s blog. Any prizes offered individually on the author’s page will be taken care of by that author.
Participating Authors – Blog Links:
Where to begin? Let me see…
Okay, well… You saw that I’ve gotten back into Snippet Saturday. So be sure to tune in for that each week.
I have over on the sidebar of the blog and on the sidebar of the home page a Newsletter sign-up box! Every so often I get an email or message about a newsletter and how I need one, how someone wishes I had one, etc… Well, I listened, reluctantly. I never thought to have a newsletter but we’re going to. We’re all in this together. If I’m kicking and screaming about it, you’re coming along too! Sign up and I’ll be getting the first issue ready to go in January.
I have a new Facebook Author Page. I need you to go LIKE it! Pretty, pretty, pretty please? Again, never thought to have one, but it’s there. It has the yummy-ass cover of Twisted Up on it! If for no other reason you go to like it, that male torso and hand holding the rope ought to be enough. Here’s the URL: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lissa-Matthews/252635701464917
This is release month… There are a lot of things happening. I will be guest blogging all over the place starting December 14th on Delilah Devlin’s blog. This is information that will likely be up on the Facebook Author Page as well, where I’m going to be guesting, giving away, etc…
I’ve joined with some authors in the second book of a charity project: Authors Helping Harry… raising funds for cancer research. You can read about Harry, here! I was thrilled to be able to participate in this, which was arranged by author Karin Tabke’s assistant.
You can find the first book on Amazon: Author Moments… All proceeds go to help fund cancer research. There are amazing authors in this… Shayla Black, Melissa Schroeder, Kris Cook, Virna DePaul, Sophie Oak, Karin Tabke, Eliza Gayle, Elizabeth Silver and many more…
The second book, Author Moments II isn’t out yet, but I’ll let you know when it is. The awesome Kendra Egert created the cover for it:
Please visit the Facebook page for Authors Helping Harry as well as the blog!
I believe that’s all I have right now for y’all. I’ve hired an assistant. She will be helping me, or rather forcing me to give up control of my calendar and a few other things so I can get onto and into the business of writing. Her name is Brandy and she’s going to be an awesome change for me. Y’all want books. I want to write books. The business end of this business is time consuming and she’s going to help me with that along with regular blog content, cover thoughts, etc… I’m gonna have a well-oiled or at least a well disciplined machine here if it kills me!
Y’all, my readers, are awesome! Have a great day!
No truer words were ever spoken. Okay, well, maybe truer ones, but at this moment, nope.
I am very glad to be home from Authors After Dark. I am very glad to not be living out of a suitcase. I am very glad to have my own shower and bedroom. I am very glad to be relaxed and not running everywhere from the second I get up. And, I am glad to be eating home cooked, real food again. Man, oh man, am I glad of that!
I’m gonna tell you, it’s miserable going from whole wheat, whole grain, natural foods to processed and eating out a lot. However, there was strawberry cake one night that I might kill to have a slice of again…
I met some fabulous people at Authors After Dark though and I am very glad to have gone and met them. Melissa Schroeder (straight shooter and I love that), Kris Cook (just so fabulous beyond words), Joy from Joyfully Reviewed (who welcomed me with such open arms and a smile), and Cat Johnson (who gave me valuable branding/marketing ideas). I spent a lot of time with Samantha Kane and Mari Freeman. We laughed, we went sightseeing, we journeyed to Starbucks! I met people who (when they knew who the hell I was) have loved my books and people who have in the past ragged on them and ripped them to shreds. I met people with ginormous egos and others who were so down to earth and kind and sweet. Larissa Ione was one of those down to earth people and I caught her as we were both standing off to the side at one point. We struck up a conversation and she was easy to smile and laugh and talk. I had not read her books before but because of that one moment, I will try them now. Others, not so much.
I got to spend some time talking with Delilah Devlin. I had met her at Lori Foster’s Reader and Author Get Together. I learned a lot from talking to Delilah and she’s so kind. I also met Sidney Ayers again. She’s very quiet but easy to smile and told me that her books are funnier than the covers appear so, I bought the first one, Demons Prefer Blondes and am going to give it a try!
The tattoo artist tagged me within seconds of meeting me as submissive (which is true). Kinda caught me off guard though and I left my friend Kendra alone with him and her tattoo shortly after that. She’ll forgive me…lol.
I met people from Twitter whom I just wanted to hug and cuddle with… @esmerose1977 and @juju221.
And I hung on the ever fantabulous Dakota Cassidy because I truly can’t get enough of her! She’s very gracious to tolerate me.
Look at me name dropping! LOL. As if, right? However, these are people I met and who stood out to me. Of course, I cannot forget Jen B. and Susan, two readers who actually knew me, actually looked for me. Those were awesome moments.
Aside from Lori Foster’s Get Together, Authors After Dark is only the second con I’ve attended. It was interesting, busy, however it was more busy for others than for me. I was more a tag-a-long than anything. I was a late sign-up, which was fine. Not being in the mix and middle of things, allows one to observe and listen and even find time to connect. I didn’t have to be here or there or in two places at once and that was nice. Very few people knew me, but, in the grand scheme of things… One of my roommates, Eliza Gayle… Now everyone knew her and some were falling all over themselves to get to her. Readers, and bloggers, and authors alike gravitated toward her. She was truly in her element and that was cool to see. Whereas me, I was like a fish out of water…
Authors After Dark 2012 is in New Orleans. I won’t be going to that one. August? New Orleans? Off-season? No… But Philly, that was amazing. It was so different than the Southern cities I’m used to. The atmosphere was hurried, lively, loud. I loved walking around the city, seeing the sites, the architechture, the history. The history was fabulous. And the cheesesteaks. I have to say y’all, the cheesesteak thing… There’s a bit of controversy there. Is it best with Wiz? With provolone? With American? Hell if I know! The one place we went, they said provolone. The people we talked to outside that place said wiz. I do believe after trying both, I’d have to go with wiz. Are you wondering what wiz is? Cheese Whiz. It melts into the steak better and is just more delicious. I am however cheesesteak’d out. I’m actually tired of eating out all together and as I said earlier, I’m glad to be able to eat home cooked, real food again.
I came home with two new book ideas, one I need to write on today and one I need to get started on very, very soon. The whole time I was there, I couldn’t wait to get back to writing and so, I think I shall do that now. And today will be an Elvis Presley listening day… Do you have a favorite Elvis song? Mine is Moody Blue.
Hope all of you had a great weekend and are on your way to a great week.